NanoPoblano Leavings

November 30, the last day to post, read, comment, or link share for Team Tiny Peppers 2019, has arrived. Many are celebrating a great accomplishment, and well they should. I am so proud of everyone who met their writing goals this month – whatever they were!

On October 31, I intended to make the most of November – to write 10 posts, leave 10 comments, and share 10 links. While that goal was probably quite doable, the month did not exactly pan out the way I had planned. Still, I cannot view this as a failure. After all, I wrote, commented, and posted links more this month than I have in the past year. I also managed to pack up my stuff and move it to a house a few hours away, all the while continuing to teach pickleball, paint, and spend time with my amazing family! I just cannot find it in myself to feel bad about missing the mark this time.

Guilt, as a whole, lost its appeal to me years ago, when I saw it for what it was: a feeling of unworthiness masquerading as a noble emotion able to effect change. In fact, guilt and shame are the worst motivators I have ever come across. I do at times succumb to their lure, both towards myself (I must be to blame) and others (he/she/they must be to blame). But time and again I find the tactic painful and unrewarding.

Much better to finally discover that no one is to blame, that judgement itself is a construct of the ego, an outdated software program compelling me to do whatever it takes to survive. Perhaps the shame/blame game had a place in our earlier evolution when life literally depended on connection to the community. But throughout history are examples of those who understood that the shame/blame game was not the way, that judgement only ever leads to misery (for everyone involved), and that love alone signifies (Jesus, Gandhi, and other ascended masters come to mind).

In the spirit of link shares, I would like to give you a little something that has helped me begin to identify the problem of ego in my own life. I hope that it will inspire you too.

This universe began with love and the story of life must end with love as well. Sure, we may blow this world to kingdom come in an effort to keep the shame/blame game going, but I believe in a universe that will continue to expand even if earthlings do not course correct in time. We are part of the eternal Source of all that is, and there is no power able to bring about the ultimate demise of Source.

If and when this world is shattered, we will surely build another.

Until then, I choose to walk the path of love: taking care of myself, taking care of others, continuing to explore life while letting go of shame and blame. It all must start with me.

So I close November with grace – towards myself, towards you, towards all who can receive it. And I send out the message I have been hearing all year: I am enough … you are enough … we are enough.

May you come to discover the incredible freedom found outside the bounds of the shame/blame game. May you grow to know the amazing person you are and always have been. Today, apart from any perceived success or failure, may you realize your worthiness to thrive. May you come to believe, without any shadow of doubt, that you are enough!

Hope to see you in December. Much love and light.

Namaste,

~C

Link Share #3

Blessed Sagittarius season, everyone! I plan to begin writing again once my move is complete, so stay tuned for some holiday explorations and an upcoming Yule Tarot reading! In the meantime, I found a wonderful article I wanted to share. Enjoy!

One Native’s perspective on Thanksgiving. Beautiful read. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

See you soon!

Namaste,

~C

Thanksgiving Meditation

On Thursday this week, many families in the US will celebrate Thanksgiving. Somewhere in the cloudy memory of my younger days, I recall being taught that the holiday commemorated a camaraderie between Pilgrims and the Indigenous peoples of the land. I came to question that narrative as I grew older, and considering how we continue to mistreat and marginalize the people whose land the settlers stole, I have my doubts about any sort of harmonious relationship between the melting pot of invaders and the Indians of the Americas. Certainly if it ever existed, it was short-lived. I once heard someone say, “The winners write the history books.” That sounds about right to me. 

Yet here we find ourselves year after year, coming together around a table to indulge in the abundance of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave … well, depending on who you are. Apparently, freedom is a fluid concept that may or may not be dependent on the color of your skin. 

Which begs the question, what is freedom anyway? 

I remember a man speaking to a full auditorium about his life as a prisoner of war. I do not recall his name, which war he fought in, or what country held him. I do remember hearing him talk about the sense of freedom he experienced during that the days, months, and years spent alone at the bottom of a hole in the ground. Freedom must be more than the ability to go and do where and what you want. 

Could it be that freedom – like love, joy, and appreciation – is a state of mind? Maybe true freedom is knowing that there is no substance to the things that enamor us in this world, that what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is merely energy coalesced into different forms, enticing us to believe that something outside of ourselves owns the power to grant those higher emotions. What if true freedom is not possessing the land, having the job, getting the vacation, or the ability to eat ourselves into a turkey-induced coma? What if freedom is the understanding that no circumstance, thing, situation, person, or place outside ourselves can ever bring or take true happiness?

I cannot help but wonder if we who indulge our appetites so recklessly every fourth Thursday in November are not the real prisoners. Enslaved by the sheer hunger for more, we do not stop our indulgence on Thursday, but now carry it on through Friday – the day we try to fill a different hole in our hearts, the one reserved for more stuff.

A quick search of the origin of the term “Black Friday” yielded this little gem. It seems to me that the establishment of Thanksgiving as a national holiday was more of a political ploy or an excuse for a couple of paid days off than an opportunity to focus on gratitude. Maybe that’s just my propensity for cynicism talking.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Thanksgiving as a rule. I am glad that our family has an excuse to get together every year around a table full of food we all helped to prepare. And I am one of the lucky ones – my family comes together often, without any excuse but our love for one another. For that I am immensely grateful. 

My heart goes out to the countless Americans who have no family with which to celebrate this or any holiday; those who are estranged from the ones they love; and those who have no means for a feast. Sad conditions indeed. Sadder still are the ones who have all of those things yet live a life enslaved to their perception of reality, complainers, unable to find joy or peace within despite their abundance without. 

The true inspirations are those who manage to find joy without any of those things. Just as a bad circumstance has no power to steal my joy, freedom, love, or gratitude (unless I let it), so abundance and good fortune lack the power to give any of them to me. 

I confess, my original plan for this post was to tell you that on Black Friday I will be moving instead of shopping, that it would mark the thirty-something time I have moved since I was 18, and that the thought of moving again makes me tired. Instead I was made to remember that everything I need already exists inside of me. To top that off, my outer world is a place of abundance, a veritable feast of loving family members, places to live, and countless wonderful things I enjoy doing! These thoughts made me realize the many ways that I allow my perceived circumstances to dictate my sense of freedom or bondage, joy or depression, love or fear. My own words have confronted my propensity to complain rather than to thank.

Today I choose to remember that freedom, joy, and gratitude are states of mind that nothing in my outer world may alter without my consent. 

May you find the joy that nothing outside of you can steal, the love of yourself that you deserve because you are worthy, and the gratitude & appreciation for the wonder of life itself. May your Thanksgiving be truly blessed – both within and without.

With a thankful heart, Namaste,

~C 

Connection …? We Really Have NO Idea

It’s worth thinking that maybe the meaning of our lives are actually not even within the scope of our understanding.

Tom Chi, TedX Taipei

This video is for anyone who thinks that their life doesn’t matter. If only you knew how crucial your existence is to everything and everyone else!

Everything is connected.

No matter how long you spend on this earth or what you ‘do’ with your life, please know that you matter.

Namaste,

~C

Just Breathe

I know, I know, November was supposed to be a month of blogging. My life and writing? Not particularly in sync right now. The full schedule will certainly let up right around the first of December – just after NanoPoblano ends. 😒 Mind you, I am not complaining. I may not be writing, but I absolutely love what I am doing.

In lieu of a post tonight, I would like to share an exciting process with you. I may not be writing, but I am most definitely breathing. Enjoy!

SOMA Breath – highly recommend the daily doses. But watch out! They might just change your life – for the better!

Namaste,

~C

Finding My Flow in North Georgia

It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then. 

Lewis Carroll

This is a continuation of the journey I began early in the summer of 2019.

I have long understood that everything in our physical realm is made up of invisible energy. This energy must flow freely or our lives will be filled with pain, chaos, and misery. Maybe that’s why I love fluid art so much. Pouring paint has helped me to learn to tap into the flow. But this summer it came to my attention that something was blocking the natural flow of energy inside me. I reached out to Dr. Tom and Emily to see if they could help me identify and eradicate it for good.

At approximately 11:00 in the morning on July 20, Tom Dill offered me a seat on a massage table in his office in the North Georgia Wellness Center. “So what brought you here today?” he asked, graciously omitting the unspoken but implied, all the way from Woodbridge, VA. Emily Francis sat on the couch to my right, preparing to take notes on her phone. At the time, I was unaware that Emily no longer accepted patients and that Dr. Tom never agreed to treat anyone who lived out of state. I still do not know how or why my email persuaded them to see me, only that I am so very grateful it did.

In the middle of my narrative, Dr. Tom glanced at Emily and said, “Do you see that?” “I sure do,” was her immediate response. He waited until I finished before asking, “Can you take a deep breath for me?” It was my first clue that I had come to the right place. Sometime in 2018 I had lost the ability to breathe deeply, as if a stone had lodged in the center of my chest. I felt pain in the area from time to time. I did not know what it was, but I did know that it was completely unrelated to my physical heart. I had an energy problem.

Most of us are unaware of the beliefs and thought patterns we carry around in our subconscious minds. When those beliefs tend towards the negative, they can become blocks in the energy field that eventually cause problems in our physical bodies. While there are several ways to hack the subconscious (many of which I already use, like meditation), I knew that whatever I was dealing with needed something more. I needed help from people who were trained to work directly with energy.

We skipped over the conventional NAET tests for allergens. Instead, Dr. Tom muscle tested me for various emotional issues, beginning with the general heading of ‘my past’. During this portion of the treatment, Tom made some interesting discoveries.

  1. I ‘tread lightly’, fearful of making mistakes.
  2. I hold patterns from my childhood in my chest (go figure).
  3. My heart was broken in the past (like most everybody else).
  4. My fifth chakra (throat) has always been weak. I found this one the most enlightening – a reminder that the gift of gab does not indicate a healthy throat chakra. The ability to effectively speak my truth has long been an issue.

NAET practitioners typically identify negative memories, beliefs, and thought patterns that have morphed into energetic blocks, then clear them using acupressure along the meridian points of the spine. It was quite similar to some of the treatment I have undergone with my acupuncturist. Dr. Tom wanted to know when I first experienced the block in my chest. While trying to remember, I commented how odd it was to me that I could not take a deep breath. “Every trained singer knows full well how to belly breathe,” I said. But I had lost the skill – even during meditation. Muscle testing revealed it began around November 22, 2018. “That was moving day!” I exclaimed. “The day we moved into the house that we love.”

“That makes sense,” Tom said, “since you have trouble allowing yourself to be happy.” Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Which it rarely does. But if you believe you are not allowed to be happy and you are happy, self sabotage is your only recourse. Dr. Tom proceeded to clear my subconscious aversion to happiness. I couldn’t help but wonder if it would ‘stick.’

Emily’s turn came. The raw pain in my connective tissue brought me up from the table several times. I knew in my head that her brutality was a necessary evil and reminded myself that I hadn’t made the 10-hour drive to be coddled and left in my current condition. Something had to shake my body from its chains. When the massage was over, Dr. Tom returned for a final round of clearing and we were done. Other than the pain I had experienced at Emily’s hand, nothing particularly earth-shattering had happened. I drove back to my friend’s house in Marietta and wondered what I had really accomplished by coming all the way to Georgia.

The next morning I woke up and took the first deep breath I had taken in almost a year. I understood then that my trip had been worth every second and every penny. Life is all about flow, and Tom and Emily had helped my body find it once more.

Today I dream of running an art studio where fluid art and metaphysics come together. Until I open the doors I will learn everything I can about both, thanks to amazing teachers like Aaron Abke, Gilly Kube, Joe Dispenza, Gina Deluca, and many others. For now, I will set my intention, dream my dreams, and learn to live in the flow.

How about you? Is flow something that comes naturally or is it a struggle for you to find? When you detect blocks, how do you go about clearing them? Let me hear from you in the comments.

Thanks so much for reading!

Namaste,

~C

Inner Musings – Part 1

The child standing before me was barely recognizable. Her eyes, nose, and mouth sat jumbled and distorted on the right side of her face – off-kilter, a mirror reflection of the state of my heart. Her head tipped back, revealing eyes filled with longing. How could I refuse the silent plea? As I lifted her into my arms, her features slid back into place. She turned her head on my shoulder and smiled. I knew then that I would take her with me this time. I could no longer leave her in my memories of the past. Perhaps she had outgrown them. Perhaps we both had.

My father made it for me. It hung humbly from the limb of a pine tree in my back yard.
Next to my little teddy bear classroom, that swing was my favorite toy.

I first encountered my inner child in the backyard of my home of origin. The swing made sense – it had brought me endless hours of delight. There I could forget everything but watching the sky rush down to meet my outstretched feet.

Her joy was a palpable presence as I stood watching her.

I remembered it like it was yesterday. The ground, the sky, the ground, the sky, the ground – then, when I had amassed enough courage, a final leap into thin air! The tumble down the hill, the laughter – just like it was yesterday. My allergy to the green carpet that covered the backyard like an itchy wool blanket had never stopped me jumping. In the interim, other things had gotten in the way of my courage, though.

That day, she did not jump. She just swung, and watched me watching her. I did not remember ever wearing the knowing smile she gave me. When I had amassed enough courage to stand before her, I held out my hand and said, “Come with me.” 

“No,” she replied, “you come with me.” Without a word, or even a moment’s hesitation, I turned my back to the swing, waited to feel its touch against my legs, then sat. A strange sensation came over me, as if my body were falling into hers – or had she fallen into me? Now I was swinging. The ground, the sky, the ground, the sky … 

But would I ever again amass enough courage to jump? As it turned out, I would.

LinkShare #1

As part of this year’s NanoPoblano, we are sharing links to websites and blogs that have had an impact on us. Today I would like to draw your attention to a favorite teacher of mine.

Geraldine Amaral has spent a lifetime learning and living the Tarot. I have taken several of her classes and am slowly working my way through her book, Tarot Celebrations, coauthored with Nancy Brady Cunningham. I will be sure to post a review here on the blog when I finish.

The Spiritual Tarot is filled with great information, pithy quotes, meditations, and of course, how you can connect with the cards. Please visit Geraldine’s site when you have some free time to wander around.

If you’d like to know more about my own journey into Tarot, click here.

As always, thanks so much for reading.

Namaste,

~C

Samhain Meditation 2019

Día de Muertos, All Hallows Eve, Halloween, All Saints Day, Samhain – no matter the name, across cultures it is believed that from October 31 – November 2, the veil between the living and the dead – the spiritual and physical realms – is at its thinnest. It is the time when we honor our ancestors, when we give thanks to those who came before us – the ones who laid the foundation for our lives. In the Pagan tradition, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “sow-win”) also marks the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

I decided to reach out to my angels and guides for a message to the light workers, those of us looking to bring peace, healing, and love into the world. I asked for some word of encouragement for the coming year, something to help further the ascension of humanity.

I set my wand in the center of the spread as a representation of the divide between the upper and lower realms. What follows is my take on the cards. I welcome your input in the comments. Feel free to expand the meaning of the message(s) from your viewpoint.

1. LIFE: VIII of Wands 

Embrace all that we hear from spirit. The messages will sync with what we already know to be true. There is a strong sense of order in the way the wands are traveling – now is the time for unity. Standing together, we have the power to raise the vibration to a new level.

Wands are fire, movement, and the things we are passionate about. They can indicate growth. The eight of wands is communication, fast motion forward, and sometimes overwhelm. Messages will be coming in hard and fast, bringing the light of understanding to many. All of the wands are in sync with one another – although some are further ahead – showing that we are working together, yet continue to be on our own individual journeys, at different points along our path. The wands are falling from the sky to the earth – Spirit to flesh – and they are traveling to the right (for me, the ‘right’ direction spiritually – towards the future, advancing forward). 

2. DEATH: VII of Wands 

Let go of the need to defend our position. The light does not need defense against the dark. Light dispels darkness just by shining. Arguments, rivalry, jealousy – these have no place among those of the light. We are in this deal together or we are not in it at all. Separation & division are illusions.

Wands are fire, movement, and the things we are passionate about. They can indicate growth. The number seven relates to evaluation. It is time to take a hard look at our methods. Infighting, anger, jealousy – these are tools of the dark. Self-defense is resistance and cannot serve the light. Only love has the power to change and transform this world. It is time we stop meeting violence with violence. Only love signifies.

3. Our Courage: IX of Swords 

We have come to the end of a cycle characterized by worry, fear and doubt. It is time to trust in our dream for a better world. No more sleepless anxiety. Only have faith that all is moving according to plan.

Swords are thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and intellectual patterns. Nine promises an ending that will make room for a new beginning. It is time to let go of old beliefs/thought patterns and the anxieties that accompany them. The light of dawn is coming. Trust, take courage, and walk in hope.

4. Our Fears: X of Cups 

We fear that all the goodness we have known is coming to an end, but just the opposite is happening! For the new to come, we must let go of the old. It is time for our traditional ideas of work, family, spirituality, and prosperity to die. Everything is vibration and there is no separation between us and the Divine. All is one. I say again, separation is an illusion.

Cups are emotion and intuition. They speak of Spirit and the flow of life. Ten is overabundance, fulfillment. Do not listen to the doom and gloom message being touted by the media, trying to keep you trapped in fear and worry. Listen only to Spirit. It is in the still small voice that we discern the truth and learn to hope with faith. There is no end to the abundance we can experience when we walk in the light. We are not fighting over a limited pie – the abundance of this universe is boundless!

5. To Celebrate: III of Pentacles 

It is time to celebrate our expansion. We are coming together as one at last. New discoveries are beginning to verify what we have heard for so long from Spirit. Things are beginning to make sense and it is becoming more and more difficult for anyone to discount the power of the Divine in the world. 

Pentacles are things of earth, the things we value in the natural/material world. They can be money, time, relationships. Three is the number for expansion, growth, fertility. Unity is growing in the camp of the Light! “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” What we build together will stand the test. It is time to begin to trust one another again, to celebrate not only our similarities, but our differences too. We each bring something unique to the table that will help build the new world we all desire. Celebrate this time of increase in numbers, depth, and understanding.

6. To Contemplate: III of Swords 

It is high time we dive deep into our ability to heal our own past hurts and pain. We have been the walking wounded long enough, but even that has only been in the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and our past. Take another look, reframe the picture of your life. Understand that everything has served the purpose of increasing the light – even our darkest days have taught us to trust – to listen to our intuition.

Swords are thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and intellectual patterns. Three is the number of expansion, growth, and fertility – but in this suit, the growth is stymied by wrong thinking. Our hearts are pierced by the thoughts in our minds. Love cannot flow from a heart hardened by bitterness and resentment. It is only our thoughts that cause us to suffer – how we think about our situation and the things that have happened in the past is key. Change your thoughts, change your life. Find gratitude for all that has come to pass. Staying anchored in the pain only keeps us acting out of that pain. Contemplate and reconsider reactions to everything in life. It is time to take courage, let go, and move on. Remember it is the story we tell ourselves that determines how we see everything. Let’s make our story a masterpiece!

The number of the spread = 5. Five is change. And change is coming! This year we are being given the opportunity to make our own change. To contemplate the past, choose new thoughts that will bring healing and find the strength to move on.

May you walk in peace and joy in light of this message from Spirit. As always, thank you for reading.

Namaste,

~C

The Brilliant Dark

 There exists around me
A wide world of insanity
Voices filled with promise
Vie for attention before my eyes
Enticing paths run in all directions
Begging me follow
at my peril. 
 There exists inside me 
A vast realm of possibility
Darkness alive with potential 
Shrouding treasure behind my eyes
Untapped thoughts lay in the crevices
Marking time
'til I awaken. 

For more on experiencing the space within, check out Dr. Joe Dispenza.

What’s Your Story?

What if every situation in our lives comes to help us in some way? I mean every situation. Like the ones that tear your heart in two … financial loss, illness, death. What if ALL OF IT is an opportunity to teach us to tell a different story?

I love to paint. But let me clarify – I am hopeless with a brush, a pencil, a pen. Just give me a canvas, acrylic paint, and a way to make it fluid. I like to watch it crawl around the surface in little lines and swirls. Sometimes the colors surprise me; other times they are predictable, like when I make ‘mud’. But a child delights in mud. No one ever told them that ‘mud’ is not a pretty color. To a child, mud is nothing short of an opportunity to play.

The child knows how much fun mud can be, while grandmother sees the mess. No wonder Jesus said we have to become like children to understand life properly. Children never see the mess, they see the opportunity. After all, they are only in it for the fun.

A fellow artist was faced with this challenge today:

The storm came, the shelves shook, and a mess ensued. She awoke to a muddy disaster. She called for help, outside the box of her frustration and pain, and discovered that others had experienced their own disasters, and had found new ways to create beauty from them. They had looked for the opportunity in the mess. They had changed their stories and created beauty from failure.

What if this principle of finding joy and creativity inside the mud puddle applies to every area of our lives? The job ends, leaving room for new and better opportunities; the breakdown of a marriage leads to true love; the illness teaches you how resilient you are, giving you the strength to pursue a long-abandoned dream. Life’s disasters can open the door to possibilities never before imagined – if we will let them. But then, it all depends on what story you tell.

“Remember, you write your own script, so make it a masterpiece!” 

Marisa Peer

The only truth in life is the story you tell yourself.

You might want to read that again.

Now, imagine turning every story on its head. For instance, a friend of mine told me that when someone is driving haphazardly around her (too fast, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, etc.), she thinks, “That person must have a serious stomach illness and they’re looking for a bathroom; or perhaps they are trying to get to the hospital to say farewell to a loved one before it’s too late.” Actions easily interpreted as inconsiderate, reckless, or even hostile can be instantly transformed into a story that moves me to compassion and empathy, away from anger and frustration. 

What kind of world could we create if every person assumed the best of everyone else, and even went so far as to find a silver lining in every situation? It would certainly make for a beautiful life story, wouldn’t it? A masterpiece even.

I’ll bet money that there is a disaster going on in some area of your life right now. It may be small or large, it may have gone on for years or just happened this morning. I am here to tell you that you have it in your power to tell whatever story about it you would like. It’s your story so the sky’s the limit! Why not make it a good one?

I challenge you to rewrite the story of your disaster – even better if you can find a silver lining. Have fun with it! Let me know what happens in the comments.

Namaste and thanks so much for reading,

~C

November 1, 2019 CheerPeppers post.

NaBloPoMo According to Ra

Tomorrow a group of bloggers will begin a new journey led by our fearless dino-sister, Rarasaur. November is traditionally a writing intensive month. I have no clue how it all began, but NaNoWriMo is a tool many writers use to push themselves to write, track their progress, and hopefully come up with their next great publication – all in the space of 30 days.

Now, it took me 4 years to complete a novel of approximately 92,000 words from beginning to end – I have a writing prompt from the King of the Matticus Kingdom to credit for that. It was difficult enough to finally make my way to a published work on Amazon … I cannot imagine the stress of trying to complete a novel in one month (the years of editing to follow notwithstanding). However, I have enjoyed the way that Rara takes us outside of that box to offer a challenge I can really sink my teeth into. This year is even more gratifying because it is designed to give us ample time to write, read, and comment (10 days of each). 

In 2015 I participated in NaBloPoMo, and it was quite the experience. I even surprised myself that I was able to pull off a blog post every day. Some stuff has happened since then like grandkids, pickleball, acrylic pouring, a divorce, and 2 moves (one last November, coincidentally), I simply have not found the time to jump back in. I am hoping that this challenge will spark some ideas to get me moving in the direction of the sequel to The Mists of Tir Na Nóg. Never mind that very soon I’ll be moving again.

I hope you will stop by and comment from time to time this month. It’s always nice to know that someone is walking by my side. Who knows? You might get inspired to jump on the Cheer Peppers bandwagon yourself. 

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!

Namaste,

~C